Fitness to practise
New guidance tells UK students how they should behave—and what happens if they fall short of the mark
- By: Toby Reynolds
Doctors are expected to show high standards of behaviour in their work, and medical schools have been trying to get their students to start thinking of themselves in a professional light at least since the registration of medical practitioners began in the 19th century.
But general advice to new students often left a lot of room for interpretation, and because different colleges had to shape their fitness to practise procedures around existing university regulations, there was also inconsistency.
New guidance issued by the General Medical Council is meant to tackle both of these problems. Jim McKillop, professor of medicine at the University of Glasgow and chair of the GMC’s undergraduate board, says that the document, issued in a revised form in March this year, should help students to understand what is expected of them (www.gmc-uk.org/education/undergraduate/undergraduate_policy/professional_behaviour.asp).
“Over the years there have been concerns that a very small number of students were